Watch: Referee Stuart Attwell gets in the way of golden Martinelli chance

Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal during the match against West Ham. 15 December 2021. The Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli missed a golden chance to regain Arsenal’s lead during their 2-1 defeat to Manchester City – but he might’ve scored had he not been impeded by a bizarre run from the referee.

Unlike many vocal Arsenal fans on social media, Gunners legend Ian Wright took a balanced view on Match Of The Day, stating that the officials got the two key penalty calls right, as well as the decision to send off Gabriel Magalhaes.

But Wright, who scored 185 goals in 288 appearances for Arsenal, was critical of referee Stuart Attwell for his positioning at a key point during the second half.

Attwell managed to check his run and get out of Gabriel Martinelli’s way, when the Brazilian had a glorious open-goal chance after Nathan Ake spared Aymeric Laporte’s blushes with a last-ditch goal-line clearance.

However, on second viewing, it was more than a little strange to see the referee speeding up to get into the box as if he were a great goal-poaching midfielder. Attwell was in Martinelli’s way right until the last moment.

“Can someone explain to me, why is the ref trying to get into the box quicker than Gabriel [Martinelli],” Wright said.

“He [the ref] has to get out of the way. He’s in his way!”

“He’s made a better run,” joked host Gary Lineker.

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